Tuesday, April 25, 2017
   
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Horseradish, the Bitter Herb of Spring: Cultivation and Recipes

Horseradish is an herb long used at the Easter season by Polish, Russian and other Eastern European cultures. My dad always put a generous amount on his Easter morning kielbasa. I love it also, but flavor it with beets and also use it in potato salad.

Horseradish is such an easy plant to grow. Every garden should have a patch of it. Plant it in mid April to able to have a good harvest in late fall through to spring. Given a spot with fairly decent soil, good sun, and an occasional good soaking, the plant will flourish and come up for years. Dig the largest root when needed late in the summer, in the fall, and through the winter, leaving the smaller roots to mature for later use. Dig up the largest root, wash and peel it and grate. Add a little lemon juice to keep it white.

Horseradish is high in Vitamin C, of course being more potent when freshly grated. The following recipes are delicious with fresh grated horseradish, but they can also be made with any of the store bought products.

The horseradish beet combo is especially healthy and is also delicious this time of year with hard cooked eggs or kielbasa. The potato salad recipe is great with Easter ham and asparagus. The dill, along with the horseradish adds a bit of a surprise to this dish. We had this combination in Poland and found it quite good in many potato dishes.

Horseradish Recipes:

Horseradish Relish

1 raw beet, peeled and grated
1 fresh apple, grated
1/4 cup fresh horseradish
Juice from 1/2 lemon

Combine ingredients and serve with meats, crackers, or hard boiled eggs.

Potato Salad with Horseradish

5 lb. redskin potatoes
2 cups mayonnaise
2 cups sour cream
1/4 cup wine vinegar
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup grated horseradish
1 tb. chopped parsley
1 tb. dill weed

Scrub potatoes, remove any blemishes and dice into bite size pieces. Boil potatoes in salted water until tender when pierced with fork. Drain and toss with remaining ingredients while potatoes are warm. Serve warm or cold. To make coleslaw, replace potatoes with shredded cabbage.

Horseradish Sauce

1 pint whipped cream
3-4 tbs. horseradish, grated
1 tb. Vinegar
1/2 Tsp.. Salt
Sugar to taste
1/2 Ts. Pepper, coarsely ground

Fold the horseradish and vinegar into whipped cream. Adjust seasoning with salt, sugar, and pepper. Roll into greased parchment paper and freeze. To serve, cut into slices. Goes well with asparagus, beef, ham, corned beef, tongue, smoked fish and seafood.

Horseradish, Beet and Apple Salad

4 oz. beets, cooked and peeled
1 oz. apples
2 tbs. grated horseradish
1/2 ts. lemon juice
1/2 ts. honey

Cut the beets and apples into julienne strips and combine with horseradish. Mix with lemon juice and honey. Serve on lettuce leaves.

A Garden Reminder

Keep Easter bulb plants well watered so that the foliage can continue to keep the bulb healthy. Remember that they can be planted out, allowing the foliage to prepare the bulb to bloom again next year. Never remove it until the green turns to brown and it is finished growing,then the bulb has been fed for next year's bloom.
Plant cool weather seeds now, radishes, lettuce, peas, calendula, larkspur, poppies, and corn flowers. Remmber that seeds can not dry out when first planted or they will not come up. Plant hardy perennials and spring bloomers like pansies, mountian pinks, primula, and bulb plants for great color until annuals can be put out.

Recommended reading(s):

Art of Polish CookingTry also a book written by Alina Zeranska, Janina Domanska (Illustrator), entitled The Art of Polish Cooking

Kitchen HerbsStefan Buczacki's  Best Kitchen Herbs is a comprehensive guide to growing culinary herbs.

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